Top tips for training your pup on and off-lead

Written by Napo HQ
14th Apr 2022
3 mins read

1. Lead by example

When another dog-walker has their dog on a lead, it may be for a good reason. If your dog’s recall is not great, it’s good etiquette to put your dog on a lead and restrain it from saying ‘hello’ until you pass. 

2. Make lead training fun

Just because a dog is on a lead doesn’t mean it can’t be happy. Try loose-lead walking and allow your dog plenty of freedom to spend time sniffing its environment.

3. Reinforce good behaviours with treats and praise

While lead training, reward your dog for good behaviour with high-value treats and lots of praise. This is important whether you are teaching it to walk on the lead, or come when you call them. Never get angry at your pup for spending too long to come back to you - this will only make him more reluctant to come to you next time!

4. Start with a long lead

Before letting your pup off-lead completely in the park, start with them on a long, slack lead. This is a good way to give her some freedom, while still being able to reign her in, if necessary. We recommend using a slack lead, and not a retractable lead, which is much harder to give freedom with.

5. Practise good recall

Eventually, your dog should enjoy time off-leash. Practising good recall in advance will mean that you’re confident your dog will be safe and come back when you’re out and about. 

6. Training should be consistent, and life-long!

Unfortunately, training your pup is not always a linear process, and many dogs will ‘forget’ learned behaviours - or learn new, unexpected ones! - throughout their life. It’s always good to keep reinforcing good behaviour in your pup both at home, and at the park, no matter their age or experience level.

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